CAP TOWN (Reuters) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has provided Chinese leader Xi Jinping with a briefing on the forthcoming visit by African leaders to Russia and Ukraine in an effort to resolve hostilities, according to a statement from the South African presidency on Saturday.
Chinese state broadcaster reported that the two leaders held a phone call on Friday.
In the statement, the South African presidency highlighted that Ramaphosa informed Xi about the peace plan proposed by China and reiterated African leaders’ endorsement of initiatives aimed at achieving a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“President Xi Jinping commended the initiative by the African continent and acknowledged the impact the conflict has had on human lives and food security in Africa,” stated the presidency.
Various peace proposals have emerged from different capitals in attempts to end the war, which has led to the displacement of millions of people, increased food prices, and adversely affected global prosperity.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a significant effort to engage with countries of the Global South, a term encompassing regions such as Latin America, Africa, and Asia, last month in response to peace initiatives put forth by some of its members. Ukraine’s stated position for any peace agreement is the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory.
On May 16, Ramaphosa announced the African peace plan, the specific details of which have not been publicly disclosed. The peace plan has received support from the leaders of Senegal, Uganda, Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, and Zambia.
During Friday’s call, Ramaphosa and Xi also discussed the upcoming summit of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), which is scheduled to be hosted by South Africa in August.
South Africa has stated that it is considering legal options if Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is the subject of a war crimes arrest warrant, attends the BRICS summit.
The International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for Putin in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and as a member of the ICC, South Africa would be obligated to arrest him if he were to attend the summit in Johannesburg.